Our Last Post: Time Out Reminiscence Box

The time has come to say goodbye. This is our last day at the Mining Museum, so we thought we’d share with you one of the projects we have been working on for the past eight weeks, a new reminiscence box on the theme of leisure. Since 2012, the museum has run an outreach programme called ‘Memories in Your Hands’.  Through the use of handling boxes, people who are unable to visit the museum can access, and engage with, the collection. The boxes are particularly designed for use in...

Morgan’s Object of the Week

This poster is one of a series made in the 1960s by the Safety Branch of the National Coal Board (NCB). Its almost comical appearance demonstrates the shift from text-heavy rule books to lively messages presented in accessible formats. The Scottish South Area of the NCB published a calendar featuring similar images in 1969. It also shows the increased emphasis on safety in the mines after nationalisation.     In the 19th century, mining was one of the most dangerous...

Rebecca’s Object of the Week

My object for this week is a tallow lamp. Also known as a tally lamp, these were used throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by miners when they were working underground. They were filled with animal fat (tallow) and then a textile wick was placed in the spout. The wick had to be kept trimmed so it did not get too hot and melt the fat too quickly. The hook on the lamp was used to attach it to a miner’s jacket or cloth hat, or to hang it from something once...

Morgan’s Object of the Week

The museum has a fantastic photographic collection, so this week I have chosen to feature two photographs as my object(s) of the week. These photographs show the Dean Tavern, a Gothenburg in Newtongrange.     In Scotland, some supporters of the temperance movement advocated limiting the sale of alcohol rather than prohibiting it entirely. They adopted the Gothenburg system, which encouraged family activities and discouraged excessive drinking. Colloquially known as...

Rebecca’s Object of the Week

My object of the week is a Haldane Canary Cage, which is currently on display in the museum’s ‘The Story of Coal’ exhibition.     The use of canaries in mines was introduced by John Haldane, a Scottish physiologist, in the late nineteenth century. Following the 1894 mining disaster at Tylorstown Colliery in which 57 men died, Haldane was asked to try to work out the reason for the explosion. His experiments led him to conclude that carbon monoxide was the cause....

Morgan’s Object of the Week

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike, I have chosen a strike-related item as my object of the week. The 1984-85 miners’ strike was one of the most significant and divisive events in recent British history. It was led by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) who sought to protect jobs and livelihoods from pit closures proposed by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. The miners’ defeat in 1985 led to the demise of the coal mining industry, reduced...

A Week in the Life!

Our work at the museum is very varied as we are working on many projects and tasks. While every week has been different so far, this will give you an idea of what a typical one includes. Here is what we were up to last week:   Monday This year is the 30th birthday of the Mining Museum. To mark this occasion, there will be a temporary exhibition on its history that is due to open at the end of October. One of our projects is to write the section on the importance of volunteers. We...

Welcome to our blog!

Hello! We are two interns on work placements at the Mining Museum as part of our Museum Studies Masters degree at the University of Leicester. This is our blog about our experiences. Hi, I’m Rebecca. I’m originally from Leicester, and did my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Portsmouth. I have volunteered at several places including the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and RCAHMS. When the opportunity to do my placement at NMMS arose I was really excited. My Grandad was...
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